Have you tried Turbo Tango? Probably not because it’s targeted at teens and has limited availability, but it’s definitely ’one to watch’. The reason? Britvic describes it as the ’world’s first plastic aerosol drink’. That might not appeal to you but expect it to appeal to its target audience.

Apparently it features ’nitro-fuelled’ aerosol technology, to deliver a foamy blast of orange and a ’totally new drinking experience’. The instructions say: ’Hold upright and squirt in your mouth (and nowhere else)’.

Described as ’soft drink meets squirty cream’, it has been available through the summer in leisure and impulse outlets as well as in selected cinemas. If the trial is a success, Britvic may give the drink a wider roll-out next year.

Another drink to watch out for is coconut water which is loved by celebrities. It is regarded by many as a natural alternative to energy drinks as it hydrates consumers fast.

Apparently Madonna is said to have invested in Vita Coco. The company was awarded a prestigious gold star by the Guild of Fine Food at its Great Taste Awards 2011.

Vita Coco offers two lines: 100% pure coconut water and 100% pure coconut water with pineapple; which both come in 330ml TetraPaks with a recommended retail price of £1.49. The coconut water used in Vita Coco comes from young green coconuts and is said to contain 20 times more potassium than sports drinks as well as naturally occurring electrolytes. Giles Brook, European chief executive at Vita Coco, believes coconut water is set to become the ’next big category’ in the soft drinks market: "Vita Coco is all about healthy, natural hydration," he says.

Energy spurt

In the all-important energy category, the new launches just keep on coming. According to Nielsen, there are 244 products in the sports and energy category, 99 of which were launched from 2008 onwards.

However, of these 99, only three make it into the top 20 list and all are functional products: Red Bull 330ml and 473ml, and Monster Original.

"In fact, the top 20 SKUs in the category make up 72% of value sales," says Red Bull trade communications manager, Tom Smith.

"On too many occasions, chillers are stocked with duplication products that don’t add value. These take up valuable space which could be used for the best-selling lines."

He continues: "It’s no surprise that there are so many product launches within sports and energy as it’s the one category which is showing consistent growth within soft drinks and there are lots of new brands and products vying for a slice of the action.

"The key thing here for retailers is that they stay focused on stocking what’s driving sizeable and profitable sales, and aren’t distracted by brand and flavour launches that don’t meet an obvious and clearly unmet consumer need."

Mintel predicts that the sports and energy market will grow by 50% by 2015. Red Bull expects this to be driven by an increase in household penetration, as well as increased consumption by existing sports and energy consumers.

Smith says: "Considering that penetration of the category is one of the lowest in soft drinks, but the value of the category is one of the largest and fastest growing, there is a huge opportunity to grow the category further in the coming years. Consumers now have a better understanding of how different-sized products meet their varying energy needs, which is evident in the fact that size extensions are where the most value is being added to the category. "Communicating the numerous usage occasions that sports and energy drinks are relevant to will also help to show consumers the role that these products play in their hectic lifestyles, whether that’s a long Bank Holiday drive to visit relatives, being on your game at work, or having the energy for that hard session in the gym or out on the sports pitch."

Despite the evidence of over-crowding, new energy drinks just keep on coming. AG Barr has added a new drink to its range which is designed to prepare consumers for extreme mental and physical performance.

Rockstar Xdurance, which contains electrolytes, caffeine and Vitamin B complex, is said to be ideal for consumers seeking an ’extra boost ahead of activity or exertion’.

A lightly carbonated blueberry, pomegranate & acai flavoured drink, Rockstar Xdurance comes in a 500ml can.

"The ’big can’ energy category is experiencing huge growth it’s currently growing by 36% year-on-year (Nielsen)," says Adrian Troy, head of marketing for AG Barr. "We aim to help retailers take advantage of this trend by offering a Rockstar variant for every occasion in the day. Rockstar Xdurance prepares consumers for what lies ahead whether it’s a sporting event or mental activity such as work." Another recent addition to the Rockstar range is Rockstar Pink, the first energy drink to be targeted specifically at women.

"Rockstar Pink made an immediate impact with a phenomenal first four weeks of sales surpassing all expectations," says Troy. "Containing just 10 calories and served in a 355ml can, it is proving popular with women seeking an energy boost without the associated high sugar content. The hot pink can creates stand-out on shelf, which is particularly useful in forecourts where shoppers are often in a hurry."


But it’s not just new drinks that bring excitement to the soft drinks category, new flavours do too.

Lucozade Sport Lite recently boosted its line up with a new cherry variant.

Brand owner GlaxoSmithKline says research shows the new cherry flavour will attract new consumers to the Lucozade Sport Lite brand as well as encourage existing shoppers to purchase in addition to their usual shopping.

It adds that the Lucozade brand has already experienced considerable sales success with its cherry flavours. Indeed Lucozade Energy cherry was the number one soft drinks new product launch in 2009 (Nielsen), and Lucozade Sport cherry, launched earlier this year, is already the best-selling cherry flavoured sports drink in the market.

It seems cherry is very popular indeed. Last year Vimto Soft Drinks added cherry Vimto to its range and brand manager Emma Hunt says it attracted new buyers to the brand.

"The cherry Vimto brand is now worth £4m (Nielsen) and is growing the soft drinks category, with 53% of its sales being completely incremental, which shows that shoppers are adding it to their usual purchases. It has also introduced completely new buyers to the Vimto brand; one in four new Vimto buyers have bought cherry with a third of new buyers repeat purchasing (Kantar Worldpanel)."

Meanwhile, Highland Spring has taken ’new flavour’ to the limit by following the successful introduction of Hydr8 water earlier this year, with the launch of a Hydr8 Flavours range. This, the company’s first-ever flavoured water brand, is available in three natural fruit flavours: lemon & lime; orange & passionfruit; and strawberry & kiwi.

Each flavour is 100% sugar free and uses only natural fruit flavourings with every 500ml bottle containing less than eight calories.

According to Nielsen data for the 12 weeks ending July 9, Hydr8 is the fastest-selling unflavoured brand launch by value in the take-home sector in the past six years and is already the 13th largest brand by volume. Meanwhile, Kantar figures reveal that the flavoured water market is growing by around 8% year-on-year with more shoppers buying flavoured water more often andin bigger volumes.

Richard Beeston, head of marketing for the Hydr8 brand, says: "As a value-for-money flavoured water, Hydr8 Flavours can help drive incremental sales growth in the soft drinks category. It provides great-tasting, low-calorie refreshment and ticks an important box by meeting growing consumer demand to drink locally-sourced British water."

Moving on, and there is also innovation in formats. For example, Red Bull was recently launched in a resealable bottle while Britvic and PepsiCo UK have introduced the first 250ml range of multipack cans across Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi.

Sitting alongside the current 330ml four-, six- and eight-packs, they have been designed to fill a gap in the market, following consumer research which found that many people, and in particular women, would like the option of a smaller can. The 250ml cans come in new cardboard packs of 12 and 18 that are said to be easier to carry home, store and recycle.

Noel Clarke, brand controller, Britvic, comments: "From our research we know that consumers buy based on the number of cans inside a multipack. The more cans in a pack, the more consumption occasions there are and the more cans there are to share. Our new 250ml multipack range will provide value to consumers by giving them more cans per pack and ensuring that we continue to grow the category even further."


Promotions can also bring excitement to the category.

Next month upmarket adult brand Appletiser will be giving consumers the chance to win dinner at Tiffany’s in New York. The new on-pack promotion launches on November 1 and runs until March 2012. It will feature on 275ml and 750ml bottles, as well as 330ml cans and 6x330ml can multipacks.

The special promotional packs, which feature a little black dress silhouette, offer a prize of flights and accommodation for two adults, dinner in the private salon room of Tiffany’s, followed by a personal shopping experience and £1,000 to spend in store.

Bruce Scott, cross-franchise controller at Appletiser distributor Coca-Cola Enterprises, says: "Appletiser sales peak over the festive season, so this year we have decided to reward the loyalty of our shoppers by giving them a chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime prize.

"Christmas is the highest sales period of the year for adult special soft drinks, generating more than 28% of annual category sales (Nielsen data).

"In 2010, Appletiser attracted 600,000 new shoppers into the category in the eight weeks of Christmas (Kantar), meaning it is a must-stock for retailers looking to make the most of the Christmas occasion, particularly with such a compelling on-pack promotion available to shoppers."

The activity will be supported by point-of-sale material as well as a Christmas advertising campaign on key national commercial radio stations, which will drive the brand’s association with food.

From New York sophistication to rock star excesses, and energy brand Rockstar is celebrating its biggest-ever sponsorship agreement with reigning MotoGP world champion, Jorge Lorenzo, with an on-pack promotion. AG Barr’s Troy reckons it is guaranteed to accelerate demand. Consumers get the chance to win a luxury trip to Valencia for the final race of the season.

The winner and a friend will ’Party like a Rockstar’ in Valencia, with return flights, private transfers, accommodation at a five-star hotel, a full day’s scooter hire and VIP race tickets.

To enter, consumers input a unique code, taken from under the can’s ring pull, on a dedicated website, www.race.rockstarenergy.co.uk, where they can play a Rockstar racing game.

All entrants will be put into the prize draw to win the trip to Valencia, but there will also be daily prizes for the fastest lap, including Rockstar branded caps and t-shirts. Troy says: "As well as having the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience, consumers can win prizes based on their gaming skills which will appeal to their competitive nature.

"It’s a great honour to have Jorge Lorenzo representing the brand. Existing Rockstar consumers will jump at the chance to cheer him on in the final Moto GP, and we’re certain that the promotion will also attract new, racing-loving consumers to the brand. We predict that Rockstar will be speeding off the shelves."

The promotion features on both standard and price-marked cans of Rockstar original, punched guava and juiced flavours.

The price-marked cans will feature a 99p flash throughout the promotion.

The winner of the main prize will be drawn on October 14, 2011, with the daily prize draws running until February.

Sticking with the rock star theme, GSK aims to drive sales of Lucozade Energy with a new on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to win hundreds of tickets to top UK music gigs every hour. Backed by a £1.7m marketing campaign, activity includes seven limited-edition bottle designs across the core range, each featuring the image of a high-profile artist: original Plan B; orange Tinie Tempah; cherry Kelis; lemon Yasmin; blackcurrant Calvin Harris; tropical Wretch 32; and apple White Lies. The promotion is part of the Lucozade Yes campaign, which aims to win support from 16-24 year-olds by aligning the brand with an exciting mix of music, energy and sport.

"Our new ’Win gig tickets every hour’ on-pack promotion will build on the success of our recent Spotify promotion, which drove one million households to purchase Lucozade Energy, of which nearly 75% were new to sports and energy (Kantar Worldpanel data)," explains Matt McKie, brand manager for Lucozade Energy.

"We are committed to offering strong, value-led promotions, and this latest on-pack promotion will help to grow both the energy-giving sector and the Lucozade Energy brand, which grew by £21m in 2010 and is currently worth £256m (Nielsen)."

Consumers will be able to win tickets every hour by entering a promotional code from each Lucozade Energy bottle at www.lucozade.com/music.

Nine-hundred-and-twenty pairs of tickets will be up for grabs over 92 days, including tickets to any gig catered for by Ticketmaster.

The activity will run across 380ml (including price-marked packs), 500ml and 1ltr bottles (excluding price-marked packs), as well as 380ml packs of six bottles (including ’8 for 6’ offers).

Fearless Fred

Finally, a new Fearless Fred promotional campaign supports No Fear energy drink from this month.

It encourages No Fear’s target audience to conquer their ultimate fear and will reward the winner of the promotion with a once-in-a-lifetime trip and a £1,000 cash prize.

The campaign is backed by a huge investment in print and digital advertising in leading consumer titles such as Zoo, FHM and Kerrang.

According to the latest IRI data (August 2011), in the past 12 months the No Fear energy drink brand has grown by over 700%.

Neal Haworth, brand manager for the drink, says: "It comes in a 485ml can, which fits standard can beverage holders. Manufactured with a re-sealable top, drivers are able to keep the can firmly closed while their car is moving, reducing spills and wastage.

"In addition, resealing the can after a sip means the drink inside will stay fizzy for up to 24 hours, making it ideal for travellers to get a regular energy boost on the go. In fact it’s the ideal energy drink for forecourts to stock."


The Bottlegreen Drinks Co has turned pink in support of the charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer. The charity link-up follows last year’s successful partnership in which the Bottlegreen Drinks Co donated 10% of the sale of each bottle throughout October. The limited-edition re-branding helped Bottlegreen drive strong consumer awareness for Breakthrough and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Bottlegreen pomegranate & elderflower cordial and pomegranate & elderflower sparkling pressé bottles have turned pink and are currently re-branded ’bottlepink’ to mark the occasion.

The Alibi Pretox drink, which sold its one millionth can in the summer, has a new formulation. It retains its 18 essential vitamins and minerals and herbal extracts but now also contains key ’electrolytes’ to enhance its functionality and more minerals for improved hydration. Alibi’s ingredients are designed to help support the immune system, mental performance and liver and cardiovascular function. It has gained more listings including 48 Welcome Breaks motorway services.

Britvic is introducing a glitzy, limited edition J20 variant for Christmas. J20 Glitterberry mixes red grape, cherry and a hint of spice with edible gold glitter that sparkles when the drink is shaken. It is available in take-home multipacks of four, with a recommended retail price of £3.67.

Boost is experiencing continued growth and is currently enjoying annual sales up 44% year-on-year. The brand is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with new packaging designed to give it greater presence in the chiller cabinet. Its most recent launch is of a 250ml four-can multipack, which the company says was developed in response to huge customer demand.

Retailers are often advised to create eye-catching displays using point-of-sale material. They can download free point-of-sale material from Sunkist’s new website (www.sunkist.co.uk) or request it to be sent by post via an automated link. Free Seriously Mixed Up Fruit point-of-sale material from Vimto is also available to retailers on Vimto’s trade website (www.vimtotrade.co.uk).

With a new book soon to be released, a nationwide concert tour, an extensive tour of schools and regular sampling activity, Levi Roots will continue to have a high profile with consumers, making this the perfect time to start stocking his new fizzy drinks. The range, which includes Carribean Crush, capitalises on consumers’ growing thirst for exotic fruit flavours.

Milkshake brand Yazoo is currently running an on-pack promotion in conjunction with Premier Sports offering free sports sessions to children. These include tennis and trampolining, and are available to kids aged five to 11.


Jason Maguire, Exona Spar Filling Station, Castle Rock, Coleraine:

"We allocate a lot of space to soft drinks as it’s an important category but sales this summer have been rubbish because the weather’s been rubbish. We definitely haven’t broken any records! We’re right by a Blue Flag beach but we haven’t had any blue sky days so we haven’t seen the sales. Our best seller is Lucozade but just lately we’ve noticed that our big bottles are selling better than our impulse lines. We’ve had some really good deals 12 cans of Coke for £2.99 and two x 2ltr Coke for £2.80 and they’ve been selling like hot cakes."